The Friendswood High School Academic Decathlon team competed at the state level in San Antonio on Feb. 21-23. The Mustangs won the State Championship for 4A schools in Texas.


The Friends-wood High School Academic Decathlon team again won the State Championship for 4A schools in Texas. The team won more than $25,000 in scholarships after competing in San Antonio Feb. 21-23.

Honors member Julia Lu had the most points overall for small, medium and large school competitors. This is a record for FHS.

FHS also took second in the Super Quiz relay, which is a new format of 54 questions that is exhibition only.

FHS is a familiar school name in the state contest in that FHS teams have won 4A State AD Champions in the following years: 2013, 2007-2000, 1999-1993, and 1988, making this year their 18th State Championship, a record they alone have.

The Academic Decathlon is a 10 event scholastic competition for teams of high school students. Each high school enters a team of nine students: 3 “A” or Honor students, 3 “B” or Scholastic students, and 3 “C” or Varsity students.

Honors team members include Derek Janak, Julia Lu and Roma Pradhan. Scholastic team members include Chase Ehrig, Ramiro Garcia and Daniel Miniot. Varsity team members include Alex Briones, Raymond Monahan and Shannon Ney. Team members won 27 individual medals and 18 team medals.

In Honors Division, Lu was first overall, first in Language and Literature, first in Music, second in Science, second in Economics, third in Interview, and second in Social Science.

Pradhan was third in Economics. Janak was fourth overall, third in Language and Literature, second in Science and third in Social Science.

In the Scholastics Division, Ehrig was first overall, third in Music, third in Interview and third in Social Science. Miniot was fourth overall, second in Language and Literature, first in Music, first in Economics, and first in Speech with a perfect score. Garcia placed second in Math.

In the Varsity Division, Briones was second overall, first in Language and Literature, first in Essay, first in Music, third in Math, and third in Social Science. Ney was third overall, first in Economics, third in Language and Literature, second in Music, second in Math, and third in Social Science. Monahan earned third in Economics, third in Speech and first in Social Science.

Coaches are Ashley Birmingham, Arden Curtis and Renae Simons.

At FHS, the Academic Decathlon is an elective course that receives one credit.

Based on the model of the athletic decathlon, the Academic Decathlon requires participants to prepare for ten academic events. Like the athletic contest, the Academic Decathlon does not permit participants to specialize but rather the Academic Decathlon encourages academic versatility by requiring students to prepare for all ten events. The Academic Decathlon stresses educational opportunity and academic excellence.

The Academic Decathlon was first created by Dr. Robert Peterson, former Superintendent of Schools in Orange County, California. Firmly believing that everyone’s learning potential can be maximized through competitive challenge, Dr. Peterson set in motion the contest that has since come to be recognized as the most prestigious high school academic team competition in the United States.

Karolyn Gephart is director of communications for Friendswood ISD.


(4) comments

Walter Manuel

Congratulations to all of the Freindswood students and their coaches on a job well done!

You all certainly deserve to be proud of yourselves and for representing your community so well! [thumbup]

Laura Rudkin-Miniot

Hard work paid off! Great job, students and coaches!


There are multiple great opportunities one can seize in order to learn from concerning what's happening over there in Friendswood!
Not only can you learn from the initiative, tenacity, dedication, and hard work of the Friendswood students and coaches, as LLRMINIOT pointed out below, but also from the watchful caring eyes, and diligent support, financial or otherwise of the parents and constituents who stand guard watching like hawks over the output and production of an educational process, ranked among the best IF NOT THE the whole state of Texas!
You got to give it to them, they are on top of the hill and deserves to be so. They are hitting on all cylinders! I want to say this to about you Friendswood,.. your athletics feed off your academic excellence and not the other way around! We see you, keep up the good work! Yall let us know it is still happening, and that it still can be done!


Yes sir,...we see you!!! Wilson Pickett had a song out years ago called,
YOU LOOKING GOOD! If someone asked me to describe FWISD now, I'd have to use Mr. Pickett's song,..."FWISD IS LOOKING GOOD!"

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